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AbstractThat plants play a large part in the life of
primitive peoples does not need any further demonstration.
The point was underlined in early anthropoligical research
(Fewkes 1896, Hough 1897, Barrow 1900, Robbins, Harrington
and Freire 1916) and the bulk of information available
since then has but confirmed the fact (cf. for instance
Gilmore 1932, Elmore 1943, Whiting 1950, Vestal 1952).
With respect to the Maenge there is almost no situation
where they can do without plants whether in ritual or
secular life. Plants not only offer food, the raw
material for technology and medicine, they are also the
necessary intermediaries between this world and the other.
Whether it be for cooking , courting or praying the Maenge
resort to wild or cultivated species. This overwhelming
Presence of plants in daily and ceremonial life testifies
both to the dependence of the Maenge on their environment
and to their ability to use it in the most various ways,
an ability which rests primarily on their observation
and knowledge of natural phenomena.